Thursday, December 15, 2016

Thursday Afternoon Links

This and that for your Thursday reading.

- Jonathan Sas highlights why we're best off having public services delivered by the public sector:
The three decades long bashing and diminishing of the redistributive capacities of the state has led to pronounced inequality, degraded infrastructure stock, and a blunted ability of government to respond to current societal challenges. Of course, this was what the right-wing wanted. We understand the attack on the public sector as part and parcel of a broader neoliberal economic program that has favored financial deregulation, the expansion of unfair trade and investment deals, the weakening of worker rights and, finally, a retrenchment of welfare state programs and public services.
In Canada, the neoliberal attack on the public sector has been used to justify austerity and to promote both the privatization of existing public assets as well as the private ownership and operation of future projects and assets through P3 agreements. We fundamentally disagree that the private sector is necessarily more efficient or more capable of owning, operating and delivering projects and services as P3 advocates, including some progressives, falsely claim.
...P3s have been shown to cost more, to leave the public without control of services and assets, and ultimately to saddle the public with the costs if and when a project doesn't work out.  It is for these reasons that we also support municipal moves to in-source or bring privatized services back in-house.
At this moment of deep political convulsion throughout the West, the fight against privatization is part of a broader struggle against the economic logic that has led to corrosive inequality and underpinned the bankrupt neoliberal economic paradigm. We must continue to dispel the myth that it is the private sector alone that drives innovation or that is capable of driving economic growth and dynamism. And we must fight to ensure that the public is equitably rewarded for the investments it makes.
- Meanwhile, PressProgress offers its take on CIBC's conclusion that Canadian jobs are
deteriorating in quality. And Thomas Piketty argues that we should focus more on ensuring a fair return for labour than on providing a basic income - though I'm not sure that his justifiable concerns about the cheap nature of existing basic income systems rules out the viability of a more generous version.

- Sean McElwee, Jesse H. Rhodes and Brian Schaffner examine the chasm between the donor class which owns U.S. politics, and the public which has to live with political decisions. And Andrew Coyne criticizes Justin Trudeau's sordid dealings with the big-money donors promised access for their cash.

- Finally, the Aurora Banner makes the case for the Libs to stop stalling on their clear promise of electoral reform, while Avvy Go notes that how we vote is just one piece of an inclusive political system. And Neil MacDonald discusses Trudeau's practice in government of emphasizing a positive face on the same old lack of accomplishment we're accustomed to seeing from his predecessors.

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